Helcon 2005 — Friday

Helcon 2005 was already the fourth time the event was organised. This time we had a new location, a meeting hall of The Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission. It was a good location for many reasons: it was clean, had enough room, there were lots of tables, good kitchen facilities and a possibility to rent a room at the location. The Christian nature of the location was subtle, just one Jesus-themed wall-cloth, some hymnal books on the bookshelves and a ban on alcohol (which wasn’t an issue at all). The space has already been reserved for the FinDipCon in the Spring, and I don’t think it’ll end there.

Ok, one more downside: it’s in a pretty good neighbourhood (very close to the palace that is the Russian Embassy) and thus there are no cheap pizza or kebab places near it. Well, there were shops and the place had a kitchen with an oven, so you can heat your own pizzas. It’s also unlikely to attract random passers-by, but our pricing doesn’t support that either (eight euros for a day for a non-member and nobody assigned to teach games).

We had something like 70 visitors, with at most 50 around each day. I’d say that’s pretty good, there was lots of action going on all the time. Here’s a game-by-game list of what I did on Friday:

Heckmeck am Bratwurmeck. Five-player game, my first with more than four players. The game was pretty well-received, but I think the general feeling at the table went down as the game proceeded. I’m very much going to drop off one or two tiles to make the game slightly shorter; I’m fairly sure that’ll improve the game.

Memoir ’44. The only tournament was a Memoir ’44 campaign. Two guys played the main command of Axis and the Allies on a grand scale game, where the Allied forces tried to enter Berlin. When the troops met on the large board, a Memoir ’44 battle was fought. The results affected other battles (small changes in the unit counts). There were also air battles, played with Wings of War, those affected the ground battles as well. It was all pretty interesting. The Axis won, as the Allied players didn’t reach Berlin. The campaign format seemed to work quite well, and it will certainly be developed more for future events.

We kicked off the campaign with an Overlord game, using the Sword Beach scenario. I led the Allied assault on the beach against Mankka’s Axis forces. It was a tough fight in the beginning, but slowly we got our troops on the table and finally got a good breakthrough on the left flank. Key maneuver was playing two Close Assaults pretty much one after the other, which made for a real bloodbath. It was great fun, playing with the full compliment of eight players. I’ll definitely be up for another match of Overlord Memoir, but I wonder if it’s as much fun as a field general…

Ca$h’n Gun$. I wanted to try this one. Despite having a table full of newbies, I took the special powers, just to get someone pointing everybody with the shotgun. It was a fun game, as I expected, and what’s even better, I won! Ca$h’n Gun$ is a very crowd-dependent game, the fun you get depends on the effort you put in, but at least it’s quite unique in my collection and it certainly worked now.

Fettnapf. I introduced more people to Fettnapf, with good success. We ended up banging four games in a row. Works like a charm.

Einfach Genial. We finished up the evening at Tommy’s place where I was staying with a game of Einfach Genial. It’s a good two-player game, especially as I won Tommy, with a single point… It was a tough fight, but some strategic colour-locking did the trick in the end. To help the matters, Tommy screwed up, forgetting to draw new tiles when he was missing his weakest colour.

Next up: Saturday, with some pretty good stuff…

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